The Monteverdi Choir was formed forty-three years ago by Sir John Eliot Gardiner for a performance of the Monteverdi Vespers (1610) in King's College Chapel, Cambridge. Its original aim was to explore a wide repertoire fanning out from the Baroque, and it soon became famous for its passionate, committed singing, and the ability to switch composer, language and idiom with stylistic conviction.
The Monteverdi Choir has undertaken numerous trail-blazing tours. The most ambitious was the Bach Cantata Pilgrimage in 2000, with Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the English Baroque Soloists during which they performed all one hundred and ninety-eight of J.S. Bach's sacred cantatas in more than sixty churches throughout Europe to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the composer’s death. During the summer of 2004, the Choir undertook another pilgrimage along the oldest and most famous of pilgrimage routes, el Camino de Santiago, giving fourteen a cappella concerts in churches along the route to Santiago de Compostela.
Their set of recordings of the Bach Cantatas from the 2000 pilgrimage is currently being released on Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s record label Soli Deo Gloria. The first release was awarded Gramophone Record of the year in 2005. The success of the Soli Deo Gloria label continues with the release of its first non-Bach, independently produced recording, Pilgrimage to Santiago, with the Monteverdi Choir, which was described by the Sunday Times as its Record of the Year.
In a partnership with the Châtelet Theatre in Paris the Monteverdi Choir provided the chorus for productions of Verdi's Falstaff in 2001, Weber's Oberon in 2002, and the first complete performances in France of Berlioz's opera Les Troyens in 2003, a staging which was awarded the Grand Prix by the French Journalists' Union. The Choir has more than a hundred recordings to its name and has won numerous awards and prizes.
In 2006 the Monteverdi Choir celebrated Mozart's 250th anniversary with European tours of his Requiem and Mass in C Minor on and Mozart Opera Gala Concerts in London and Paris.. In December 2006 they toured with Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the English Baroque Soloists in a programme of Bach Advent Cantatas.
In February 2007, with the English Baroque Soloists they took part in the "Domaine Privé de Sir John Eliot Gardiner" at Cité de la musique in Paris, a week-long series of events focusing on the music of Rameau and his contemporaries These included concert performances of Rameau's Castor and Pollux and an exciting collaboration with Buskaid and the Roussat-Lubek dance company which was recently repeated at the BBC Proms. Throughout the summer 2007 they toured programmes of Bach family repertoire with Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the English Baroque Soloists around Europe and in March 2008 they played Bach's St John Passion in 5 European cities including a performance on Bach's birthday (also Good Friday) in Braunschweig.
In 2007 they began an ambitious project which will conclude in autumn 2008 involving twenty-eight performances of five different Brahms-based programmes with Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique. December 2007 saw the start of an exciting collaboration between the Monteverdi and Opera Comique, Paris: Sir John Eliot Gardiner conducted the Monteverdi Choir and the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique in eight fully-staged performances of Emmanuel Chabrier's Opera bouffe, L'Etoile.
Plans for 2008 include a European tour of Bach's St John Passion and a programme of Brahms and Schütz to be performed in various Spanish cathedrals, both with Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the English Baroque Soloists as well as UK concerts at St James's Church, Spanish Place in July, Edinburgh International Festival and BBC Proms in August, and performances of JS Bach's Christmas Oratorio and Motets at Spitalfields Festival in December 2008 and January 2009.
|Date and venue||Title|
|Sir John Eliot Gardiner blows Paris audience away at Salle Pleyel|
|Writing a positive review is not an easy task. When confronted with something lacking error, a review can go one of two ways: a brief and simple praise of all involved and a summary of the evening, or an over-the-top full-blown confession of awe and admiration. Spoiler alert: this review is the latter. To be lost for words is traditionally taken as a positive sign; yet when one’s duty is to summarise the event that knocked you for six, this lack of words proves rather problematic. Nonetheless, here goes…
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Segerstrom Center for the Arts: Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall
|John Eliot Gardiner enlightens with Beethoven's Missa Solemnis in Orange County|
|Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis is an odd piece. Despite having a rich recorded legacy, it is not a piece that one encounters often in the concert hall. The technical challenges of this music are up there with virtually any other piece of combined music for choir and orchestra. As performed by the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique and the Monteverdi Choir last night, its difficulty was dispatched with an awe-inspiring fervor.|
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Carnegie Hall: Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage
|John Eliot Gardiner's Beethoven 9 still shocks at Carnegie Hall|
|As I walked to this concert by the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique and the Monteverdi Choir, I wondered what might have changed in Sir John Eliot Gardiner’s Beethoven in the two decades since he first recorded these symphonies. In the early 1990s the period-instrument movement was at its height, and the shock of the new (in the guise of the old) drew dividing lines between those who insisted that Beethoven needed to be played with original instruments at the composer’s set speeds, and those who believed in the importance of tradition.|
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Royal Albert Hall
|Prom 3: Sir John Eliot Gardiner conducts Pelléas et Mélisande|
|Opera at the 2012 Proms began with a performance of Debussy’s only completed opera, Pelléas et Mélisande. Conducted by Sir John Eliot Gardiner, the production celebrated the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth, and marked the 24 years since Gardiner first brought the work to the Royal Albert Hall with the Opéra de Lyon. This time, he was conducting the Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique, a period orchestra he formed in 1990 with the purpose of accurately performing music of the 19th century.|
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